Severe car accidents oftentimes lead to fractured bones, but the wrist is particularly vulnerable to this type of injury. I have seen this first hand, having had numerous clients come to me with a fractured wrist as a result of a Seattle auto accident. With one in every six fractures treated in emergency rooms being in the wrist, it ranks as one of the most commonly broken bones in the human body. The makeup of the wrist consists of the radius bone, the scaphoid, and the ulna. While all three of these pieces are susceptible to fracture, none is more likely to be injured than the radius.
A common phenomenon when people are involved in car accidents is for their grip on the steering wheel to tighten upon collision. This has the potential to result in serious trauma to the wrist joint. Depending on how serious the injury is, a car accident can lead to irreparable damage to the joint. The wrist is incredibly important in daily activities, so a fracture can have impacts on one’s life beyond immediate medical costs.
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Possible symptoms of the common wrist fracture include pain, swelling, deformity, and lack of mobility. Surgery may be required, but this is dependent on each individual injury, and is determined on a case-by-case basis. In deciding whether or not a patient should undergo surgery, doctors will oftentimes look at a patient’s age and physical demands. The extent to which the bone quality is thin or weak may make surgery less useful. Also, the location and degree of displacement will help to determine if surgery is necessary. In cases where the wrist fracture is minor, the doctor will usually require the patient to wear a cast in order to immobilize the wrist while it heals. However, if surgery is necessary, the doctor may end up fixing the bones in a certain position using pins to keep them in place.